How to Use E-Scan as a Planning Tool
CUNA recently released the 2012-2013 Environmental Scan. The E-Scan offers insights in 10 primary areas affecting credit unions, including legislation, compliance, staffing and of course marketing. The E-Scan is a must-read for any credit union executive and is also an outstanding planning tool to use.
But just like any power tool sitting in your garage, the E-Scan is only good if you use it. Merely passing it out or doing a quick glance at it will get you absolutely nothing. Below are a few ideas about how best to use the E-Scan as a planning tool.
Read and Review
The first step is simple: just read it. Don’t scan it, thumb through it or glance at the pretty graphics. Read itódigest every word. There are tons of key insights in every area affecting credit unions today. If reading is not your thing, you can always purchase the DVD or PowerPoint. Either way, the key is to do more than just a cursory take.
Divide and Conquer
Credit union executives have tons on their plate. Carving time from your busy day to read every single page of the E-Scan might seem daunting. If that’s the case, do what we did one year at my previous credit union. We had each member of our senior management team take one or two chapters each. The individual was responsible for reviewing their particular chapters and reporting back the key points to the group.
Present and Recap
Similar to step number two, make sure during the planning process (either with the board, management team or both) that a presentation on the E-Scan is done as part of the planning session. Your planning facilitator or someone from the management team can handle this duty. The recap is not a deep dive analysis but rather a broad overview on the key trends.
Engage and Debate
The E-Scan information is an idea generator and trend analyzer. You need to take the E-Scan and “cuss and discuss” it with your executive team and board. You may not agree with every point that was made. Using the E-Scan effectively should mean a more lively debate (which is healthy for the organization). Where is the E-Scan spot on? What did the E-Scan miss? How can we apply this information to our situation?
Localize and Learn
The E-Scan is designed to look at broad issues and trends affecting credit unions across the country. But you have to localize the trends to your region, state and city. Every credit union is unique; therefore, we must customize the E-Scan so we can better learn from it. The more we apply it to our local situation the more we will use it as a learning tool.
Hopefully, your copy of the E-Scan is well worn, tattered from multiple uses, and highlighted with key points relevant to your credit union. The more you use the E-Scan (and take the five steps above), the more effect a tool it becomes.
To get the full effect, be sure to purchase your copy of the E-Scan. In addition to the report itself, you can also order the full E-Scan package, which includes the E-Scan report, the E-Scan Newsletter, the E-Scan DVD, the Strategic Planning Guide and the E-Scan Research and Advice Portal. When it comes to strategic planning, there is no better resource or tool your credit union can use than CUNA’s Environmental Scan.
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